Blood in the Stool (Rectal Bleeding) (cont.)

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What are the treatments for blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?

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There are many causes of rectal bleeding and the treatment is determined by the underlying diagnosis.

Can blood in the stool (rectal bleeding) be prevented?

Most diseases that cause rectal bleeding are likely preventable, but it is not often possible.

  • Hemorrhoids can be avoided with proper diet and hydration to prevent constipation and straining to pass stool, but normal pregnancy increases the risk of hemorrhoid formation as does the patient with an acute diarrheal illness.
  • Avoiding constipation also decreases the risk of diverticulosis, outpouchings in the lining of the colon, and the risk of a diverticular bleed but this may be a consequence of a Western diet.
  • Alcohol abuse increases the risk of rectal bleeding in a variety of ways, from directly irritating the lining of the GI tract, to decreasing clotting capabilities of blood.

What is the prognosis of blood in the stool (rectal bleeding)?

The prognosis depends upon the underlying diagnosis. Fortunately, the cause of rectal bleeding is often benign, due to hemorrhoids or an anal fissure.

It is important to never ignore blood in the stool or rectal bleeding. It may be a clue to a serious illness and the earlier a diagnosis can be made, the better the chance for a cure.

REFERENCE: Longo DL, eta al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. McGraw-Hill Professional. 18th edition. 2011.


Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/13/2013

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Blood in the Stool - Experience Question: Please describe your experience with blood in the stool.
Blood in the Stool - Cause Question: What was the cause of blood in your stool?
Blood in the Stool - Diagnosis Question: What was the diagnosis of blood in the stool?
Blood in the Stool - Treatment Question: Depending on the cause, what was the treatment for blood in the stool?
Blood in the Stool - Hemorrhoids Question: Please describe your experience with hemorrhoids and blood in your stool.
Blood in the Stool - Anal Fissures Question: Please describe your experience with anal fissures and rectal bleeding.
Blood in the Stool - Other Causes Question: Which one of these were the cause of your case of rectal bleeding, and please describe your experience.
Blood in the Stool - Infection Question: What infection caused your case of rectal bleeding, and how was it treated?
Blood in the Stool - Ulcers or Gastritis Question: Was it ulcers or gastritis that caused your case of rectal bleeding, and how was it treated?
Blood in the Stool - Esophageal Bleeding Question: Please describe your experience with rectal bleeding and esophageal bleeding.
Blood in the Stool - Additional Causes Question: If not mentioned previously, what caused your case of rectal bleeding?
Blood in the Stool - Associated Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you have that occurred with rectal bleeding?